Coral Chair Up-Cycle and Seat Cover Tutorial

See how paint and a new fabric seat transformed this old chair. Click through for a full tutorial.
Hey, hey everyone! How’s your week going?  Our entire office is under renovation so I’m working from home for the next month.  I was pretty excited about this option because I had visions of working in my pjs and getting more things done.  In reality, I’m driving back and forth to town multiple times a day and have no base in the city from which to make calls, fill out my endless forms, or to even print things that I need.  Not as fun as I thought.

On to this weeks project….I have to say, I’m super excited about this little up-cycle because I’m one step closer to finishing the master bedroom and this incorporates my favorite colors of coral and navy.


I inherited this vanity and chair from my friend Pam when she re-did her little girls room last year.  Was I embarrassed to take furniture from a five year old? Heck, no.  That’s a stylish five year old.
See how paint and a new fabric seat transformed this old chair. Click through for a full tutorial.

I had it in my old master bath until we moved to the new house where it sits in my bedroom and I use it every morning.

First off, I painted the chair coral.  Since I couldn’t decide on which coral to use, I had Home Depot make up two sample pots for $5 each.  Score.

I went with “Flamingo”.  The other choice was “Bridesmaid” which was just a shade too pink.  Two coats later and I had a coral chair.  The paint is just drying here but I couldn’t wait.

See how paint and a new fabric seat transformed this old chair. Click through for a full tutorial.


But I also needed a seat cushion.  Cuz I’m old.  And lazy.  And such.

Having no idea how to go about making a cushion for a cushion-less chair, I just sort of re-invented the wheel as I went along.  Here’s the little tutorial of how I faked a cushion seat….


I started by tracing the seat shape onto some old packing paper that is just sitting in the garage.


That’s right.  I traced it with a crayon.  Since I couldn’t find a pencil or anything.

Then I traced that shape onto a piece of a packing box….


And cut it out.

Then I traced the same shape onto some foam and cut it out with my super handy exacto knife.  (Are they still called that?)

I used some spray adhesive to attach the foam to the cardboard.  Fancy, I know.

And then I got busy with the staple gun.


Somewhere around this point, y’all might notice that this is not the fabric that wound up on the seat cushion. Ummmm, yah, about that.  So, I thought I was being all thrifty at Joanne Fabric’s when I asked for half a yard.  Ummmmm, no.  I forgot to measure.  It didn’t fit.

It sort of fitted.  But even I know that this wasn’t going to hold up for more than a day or two the way I throw myself into a chair.   Well, s**t!!!!

I dashed over to Len’s (fabric store in Canada that is supposed to be cheap) and spent a ridiculous $16.99 a meter (metre?) for one meter.  (Because I live in freakin’ Canada where everything costs a damn fortune!) Ugh!  I wish I had bought this in the first place when I saw it at Joanne’s for $7.99 a yard.  But nooooo, I was being thrifty and bought the dot fabric for $3.00.  Grrrr….

While we’re on the subject of dumb things I do….you should not staple your fabric to cardboard on the counter…..this is the end result.  Note the staple marks in the counter top.  Double grrr….. I’m told they’re hardly noticeable.

Moving on….I then stapled the new chevron fabric to the chair cushion template….

And we have a chair up-cycle!

See how paint and a new fabric seat transformed this old chair. Click through for a full tutorial.

Not the best corners I’ve ever done but they’ll do.


There you have it….a free (except for the fortune I spent in fabric) chair up-cycle.  I still wake up every morning and sigh when I see how pretty this little chair is….That, my friends, is priceless.

See how paint and a new fabric seat transformed this old chair. Click through for a full tutorial.

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  1. I love the combination of black and white chevron with the corral! I would adore to do something like that, but it would probably dominate my tiny one room flat too much : (

  2. What a cute up-cycle! I love the chair color and chevron print is one of my new faves! Your 5 year old friend seems to be pretty trendy because I thought the chair was cute without the cushion but I love what it added. So much color and soft place to rest your bum 🙂

  3. I love the colors you chose for the chair makeover. Thanks for sharing your tips on how you made the seat cover. Pinned and Tweeted. We’re happy to have you partying with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday.

  4. WOW! I love how cheerful your chair is! You did an amazing job of it! Well done! I wish I was that brave with color and pattern 🙂 If you are interested in joining in one more link party I would be happy to host you at Making Broken Beautiful. It is a home decor and furniture party. It runs every Thursday thru Sunday. You have a beautiful eye for style! I hope you have a great week!

  5. That chair is so bright and cheerful! Great color combos, and the cushion look beautful. Well done! Don’t worry about the small counter holes. I accidentally drilled through my dining room table!

  6. Cute chair – love the colors of the chair and the fabric – they look great together. I taught myself how to recover dining room chairs last year around this time when we bought a used table and chairs – it was fun and I learned a lot doing it. Stopping by from Think Tank Thursday link party.

  7. I want to up cycle my desk chair in a cool color! I was thinking yellow since my room is done in gray & yellow. You did a great job & I love the color!

  8. Jenna, this is the perfect shade of coral! Not too pink or orange or red. It’s gorgeous up against that white wood work! I bet it does make you smile to see it! It’s just happy. And although the chevron fabric was more expensive, I love that there’s more white as a contrast. It looks gorgeous. As always, great job!

  9. Jenna this looks absolutely amazing! I am in LOVE with coral, and I’m especially impressed that you made your own seat cushion instead of going out and buying one! I’m tweeting, pinning and stumbling this one! <3

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